By Kimberley Donoghue
PBN Web Editor
PROVIDENCE – Rhode Island exports fell 8.2 percent in December from a year earlier, according to e-forecasting.com.
The state’s exports dropped to $184.8 million in December 2011 from $201.2 million in December 2010. When compared to a month earlier, exports lost 8 percent from $200.8 million.
Manufactured goods - a “major contributor of local jobs because of heavy labor requirements in making industrial goods” - accounted for 59 percent of all state exports in December. The amount of goods exported dropped 5.6 percent when compared with a year earlier and 14 percent when compared with a month earlier.
Non-manufactured exports - agricultural goods, mining products and re-exports – declined 11.6 percent in December from 2010, while increasing 2.4 percent when compared to November.
For 2011, exports of Rhode Island-made goods increased $353 million to $2.3 billion, e-forecasting.com chief economist Evangelos Simos said. The Ocean State’s export growth last year was 18.2 percent, compared to the average national increase of 16.3 percent. Rhode Island ranked 20th among the 50 states for export growth.
Simos went on to note that the International Monetary Fund predicted the volume of international trade to considerably weaken this year. “The World Economic Outlook forecasts worldwide trade to slow down to an annual [growth] rate of 3.8 percent in 2012 - following an increase of 6.9 percent in 2011 and 12.7 percent in 2010.”